No hard-and-fast rules exist when it comes to deciding how soon is too soon to get married. However, many experts suggest that around two years into a relationship is a good length of time to wait before tying the knot. It depends on many factors, says licensed psychologist Shauna Springer in the article, "How Long to Wait Before Getting Married," for "Psychology Today." The characters of the individuals, how often they see each other and how willing they are to giving their marriage the necessary time and attention, are all relevant. If you think you have married too soon, don't start worrying about divorce proceedings just yet. It's possible to change how you feel about your marriage if you and your spouse are both committed to making it work.
Understand Why You Got Married
As with all marital problems, communication between the two spouses is the key. It is bound to be difficult to tell your spouse you feel you have married too soon. However, perhaps he feels the same way and doesn't know how to raise the issue. Be honest with your feelings. Identify your reasons for getting married in the first place. Perhaps you were so obsessed with having the perfect wedding that you didn't consider what life would be like after the big day was over. Maybe you saw marriage as a way of escaping from something else, such as a difficult family situation or financial difficulties. Marriage should not be viewed as a solution to a problem or a way of making you "whole," warns "Dr. Phil" McGraw in the article, "In a Rush to Get Married?" on "Dr. Phil."
Identify Your Concerns
The next step is to consider how your relationship has been affected by your marriage. Perhaps you are feeling trapped, anxious or confused about where your life is heading. Again, it's crucial that you communicate your feelings to your spouse. Encourage him to talk about how he feels about the relationship, too. This is a serious conversation to have, and it's likely that emotions will run high. Try to stay calm, refrain from shouting or making personal digs, and really listen to what each other days, advises Marie Hartwell-Walker in the article, "10 Rules for Friendly Fighting for Couples," for "PsychCentral." Focus on the issue, rather than cast blame. Look for common ground wherever possible, suggests Hartwell-Walker. It's not a bad thing if you both feel that issues in your marriage need to be addressed. The first step in solving the problem is agreeing that a problem exists.
Work on Your Relationship
If both you and your spouse want your marriage to be a success, you're already halfway there. Together, work out how you can improve your relationship and turn things round so that you both feel getting married was the right decision. Be prepared to commit to this 100 percent, and give your relationship the time and energy it deserves. For example, if you feel that you got married too soon because you don't know each other well enough, take a vacation together. Away from the distractions of everyday life, focus on finding out what makes you both tick. Identify what you have in common, and what you don't. You don't have to agree on everything to have a successful marriage. However, you should be able to share your views on religion, children, careers, politics and retirement, without worrying that these present any major obstacles to your future happiness, says Dr. Phil.
Seek Professional Help
A suitably qualified, experienced couples counselor or marital therapist may be able to help you work through your issues and equip yourselves with the tools to create a strong, healthy bond that will give your marriage the best chance of success, says psychologist Susan Krauss-Whitbourne in the article, "5 Principles of Effective Couples Therapy," for "Psychology Today." Therapy may help you improve communication, address negative patterns of behavior and relate to your spouse in a healthy, productive way.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."
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